Truth be told, your health, mood, memory, weight, and overall lifestyle depends on getting enough sleep. It is extremely vital to get a good nights sleep so your body is well-rested and can function at peak performance. Below are several things I try to avoid before hitting the sack. By following these, I am able usually able to fall asleep within 30 minutes of laying down, and stay asleep throughout the night.
1.) Consuming Alcohol
As much as you enjoy that night cap, whether it be a glass of red wine or whiskey on the rocks, alcohol is one of the worst things for quality sleep. Instead of that night cap, try a cup of chamomile tea or lemongrass tea to help put your body and mind at ease.
2.) Late Night Workouts
Working out any later than 8:00 PM can put a real damper on your quality of sleep. Not only does working out get your blood flow moving heavy, but also stimulates your brain; making it slightly difficult to calm down. Try and get your workouts in before work to jump start your day.
3.) Late Dinners
By eating late dinners you are damaging your diet, and most likely damaging your sleeping patterns. When eating, consistency is key. So once you throw a curve ball into your diet, your bodies reaction is much different and may cause you to have issues falling asleep due to your stomach being full and not fully digested.
4.) Too Early Bedtime
If you end up falling asleep at 8:30 PM or earlier, chances are you're not going to sleep well throughout the night. The key to a good nights sleep is again, consistency. If you regularly go to bed at 10:30 PM; try and do it every night to maintain a quality nights sleep.
5.) Late Afternoon Caffeine
When you feel that late afternoon crash in the office, avoid caffeine at all costs. I usually pick up a few pieces of fruit for energy. All natural sugars and no caffeine. This is a good habit to get into since caffeine is known to linger around in the body; knowing the smallest amount can keep you up at night.
I never nap. This is one of the worst things you can do to throw your good nights sleep away. The next time you decide you want to nap, force yourself to stay up and grab some fruit or workout.
7.) Staying Connected
I make it a point to stop answering client emails, calls, and texts no matter what the urgency. The last thing you want to do is read a client email at 10:00 PM and now all you can think about is sending over a report that a client is requesting. This is a great way to ruin your sleep pattern. I recommend turning off all devices and pick up a book. Your iPhone will be there in the morning, don't worry.
These are just only a few things you can do to improve your sleep patterns. Most people don't realize how valuable a good nights sleep is. It impacts your every day life more than you can imagine. Feel free to share additional pointers with us on improving sleep. We would love to hear more and apply them to our nightly routine.